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Joel Ohman is the CEO of a private equity-backed digital media company. He is a CERTIFIED FINANCIAL PLANNER™, author, angel investor, and serial entrepreneur who loves creating new things, whether books or businesses. He has also previously served as the founder and resident CFP® of a national insurance agency, Real Time Health Quotes. He also has an MBA from the University of South Florida. ...

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Reviewed by Joel Ohman
Founder, CFP®

UPDATED: Apr 2, 2013

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Toyota was awarded the Best Brand in 2013 for resale value according to Kelley Blue Book (KBB).

The auto manufacturing company received the top position of Best Resale Value Award for Best Brand for the third time in four years.

Eric Ibara, director of residual value consulting for KBB, told that Toyota is a consistent winner because of brand strength and because it is a vehicle that consumers want to buy. He also said that Toyota is cautious with its production, so models are not over-produced.

In addition to the overall win, Toyota won 10 individual awards and won six segments as well as ranked four places in the top 10.

The top resale value award went to the 2013 Toyota FJ Cruiser which resells for 76 percent of its original value at 36 months, and 63 percent at 60 months. The other three Toyota top 10 models include the Tacoma, 4Runner and Land Cruiser.

For 2013, Toyota increased its 60-month average residual value by over three percentage points. KBB attributes this to the brand’s FJ Cruiser and Tacoma. These models, among others, kept Toyota in the consumer market, even through past recalls and tsunami disruptions in 2011, Ibara said.

“After the past two tumultuous years, Toyota bounced back in 2012 to prove it hadn’t lost its competitive spirit,” he said. “It is quite an accomplishment when you think about the challenges Toyota has overcome to remain Best Resale Value Brand for the past two years in a row.”

Residual values are important in the auto manufacturing market because it signifies the brand is strong and reliable.

“The consequence of having high residual values is that the brand can offer attractive lease payments without excessive subvention costs, and consumers are more likely to select their vehicle because it retains its value well,” Ibara said.

Although Toyota leads the way, overall auto sales are still suffering to regain their pre-recession levels. A high unemployment rate of 7.7 percent further stalls the automotive recovery.

According to KBB, auto sales, which are reflective of the amount of auto loans originated, has never exceeded 15 million in the United States without the average unemployment rate at or below seven percent. Although the automotive market has gained momentum since 2011, it is not growing quickly enough to return to a high seasonally adjusted annual rate (SAAR).

“Individuals without jobs are not likely to purchase new vehicles, so a return to a 16 million seasonally adjusted annual rate will not be likely until the employment picture brightens,” Ibara said.